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Sport & Exercise Medical Sciences

Applying medical expertise to sport and exercise

The impact of modern lifestyles on our bodies is becoming increasingly hard to ignore. More people are physically inactive, many countries are facing obesity epidemics and poor health & function is crippling an ageing population. Studying this increasingly important area gives students the chance to improve lives and make a real difference in society.

On the SEMS programme at King’s (ranked 5th in UK; Times Good University Guide, 2022) you’ll not only learn about the fundamental concepts underlying human performance and exercise training, but how to apply this knowledge to prevent disease and treat various disorders through lifestyle interventions. You will gain an expertise in human function, exercise and physical activity through a unique curriculum combining the medical sciences and sport sciences.

You will divide your time between practical work in the lab and understanding underlying theory in several key areas: physiology, psychology, biomechanics, cell biology, nutrition, and clinical science. Because of the broad nature of the subject, this degree is a great starting point for a range of rewarding careers.

Leading the way globally

We have expertise spanning human physiology, cardiology, psychology and nutrition. We have a particular strength in research into human physiology relating to sport and exercise sciences, and are ranked highest overall percentage of 4* in KCL at 75% (REF 2021).

What sets King’s apart from other universities is our global reputation for medical excellence and life-changing research. As part of King’s Health partners, we have close links to world-renowned hospitals across London, including Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas Hospitals. Leading consultants working in these hospitals provide expert teaching for our new Sports and Exercise Medical Sciences BSc.

Course Highlights

  • Focus on the science which underpins elite performance, and how it translates into prevention and treatment of disease
  • Led by academics and clinicians, the course provides an understanding of how exercise and lifestyle choices impact health and wellbeing
  • Gain experience in our state-of-the-art laboratories, and learn how to perform a variety of clinical and experimental techniques
  • On the SEMS programme you will receive teaching across multiple word-leading departments at Kings including: Physiology, Nutrition, Anatomy, and Psychology

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Our Programme Lead - Richard Bruce


King’s association with sport and exercise is long standing – we have world-class bio-analytical and pharmaceutical laboratories undertaking drug-related research, including the drug control centre (DCC) the only World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited testing lab in the UK.

Organisations look to us as leaders in the world of applied sports science. We conduct world-leading cutting-edge research across all areas of the sport and exercise medical sciences and we have extensive links with elite organisations including English National Ballet and Tottenham Hotspur FC, as well as with the Royal Air Force and European Space Agency.

From Olympic Gold Medallists to the Fastest Woman in Britain, many great athletes have walked King's halls.

See the profile for Richard Bruce


Can’t spot us in the league tables? That’s because it’s a new course, but we are:

Ranked highest overall percentage of 4* in KCL at 75% in REF2021

Ranked 5th in UK for Sport science (Times good university Guide 2022)

Ranked 23rd in the world for life sciences and medicine (QS 2021)

Specialist teaching facilities

Our students have access to some very special facilities including a fully equipped exercise physiology laboratory and an extreme environment chamber, as well as a brand new biomechanics and motor control laboratory at our Guy’s campus to support students in learning about performance improvement and recovery.

Explore our cutting edge facilities

Exercise physiology laboratory

Here you will find academics, clinicians and students working on a variety of projects involving the assessment of physiological and clinical measures, or testing multiple aspects of exercise performance and responses to training.

sems Exercise Physiology Lab


Biomechanics and motor control laboratory

This brand new facility contains a state of the art and fully integrated motion capture system which is used to investigate the mechanisms involved in the control of movements in athletes, the elderly and patients. Here the impact of treatment, training and rehabilitation programmes are assessed on their ability to support the recovery or improvement of performance.

sems Biomechanics and Motor Control Lab


Environmental chamber

Here, we can test how the human body responds to different extreme environments, and how physical and psychological performance can be effected by conditions such as prolonged high temperature and humidity, or low levels of oxygen like that at high attitude.

Environmental chamber


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